Throughout the coming weeks, CSNWashington.com Capitals Insider Chuck Gormley will evaluate the 2014-15 performance of each player on the Caps roster. One breakdown will occur every day in alphabetical order. Today: Tim Gleason
Age: 32 [turns 33 Jan. 29]
Ht/Wt: 6-0, 217
Penalty minutes: 55
Average Ice Time: 16:19
Playoff games: 14
Penalty minutes: 5
Average Ice Time: 13:08
Contract Status: UFA [2014-15 salary: $1.2 million]
Strengths: When the Caps acquired Gleason in exchange for pending UFA defenseman Jack Hillen and a fourth-round draft pick, they hoped they’d be getting a hard-nosed, shot-blocking veteran who could dissuade opponents from taking runs at defense partner Mike Green. He delivered. In 17 regular season games for the Caps, Gleason had no goals, two assists and was a plus-5 while averaging 15:16 of ice time. He delivered 34 hits and blocked 20 shots in those 17 games and was a quiet leader on the ice for a team that needed a steady hand on the blue line.
Room for improvement: Gleason let Green do much of the puck carrying during his brief stay with the Caps but possesses a heavy shot that could have been utilized more than it was [10 in the regular season for the Caps and seven in the playoffs]. A veteran of 727 NHL games, Gleason’s lack of speed and quickness was exposed occasionally in the defensive zone, but his defensive positioning made up for his deficiencies.
Memorable Moment: There were two and both involved fights with Rangers tough guy Tanner Glass. The first came on April 11 when he and Glass bloodied each other in the final regular season game between the Caps and Rangers. The second came in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on May 6 when Glass caught Gleason with a hard right that bloodied Gleason’s left eye and left him with a shiner.
Quotable: After Glass gloated about his win over Gleason in Game 4 and called him a jerk, Gleason took the high road when asked to respond, saying:“I’m not going to stand here and say I won the fight. I don’t really care about if I did or didn’t. I’m not buying into it. …I could care less, really. You’re asking a guy that, I’ve been beaten up 100,000 times and I’ve won 100,000 times, so I could care less.”
2015-16 Expectations: If Mike Green goes to unrestricted free agency the Caps might consider re-signing Gleason and carrying him as a sixth or seventh defenseman next season, an insurance policy for Dmitry Orlov, who missed the entire 2014-15 NHL season with a wrist injury. Gleason said he would consider re-signing with the Caps but he likely can get a more lucrative two-year deal from another NHL team on or after July 1.